See the front page story about my mental illness and public art efforts.
The story is about my struggle with mental illness—and the many ways art helps me cope.
Thanks Sentinel & Enterprise! Peter Jasinski (writing) and John Love (photography) ... you guys did a beautiful job!
Why am I so excited?
I like to use my art to talk about mental illness; The world needs a more accurate view of it. The more we hear from the mentally ill the more accurate a view we get.
Yesterday I heard from many sufferers, and their friends and families. They all experience stigma too. But the story helped them, and hearing their stories helped me.
What do I mean by "mentally out"? Out of the closet. Not afraid. Let it be known that I am mentally ill.
It's been that way since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Over a decade ago now.
There are tradeoffs...But once you commit to talking about it the benefits are clear. The shame is more damaging than some rank opinions.
Those awful opinions aren't too hard to change though—usually. Most people have little real world experience to go by. A lot of people with bigoted views about the mentally ill are also reasonable and kind people.
They just need a more balanced view of things.
Strategies for Change!
Talk about it. You don't have to be mentally ill to do this. Just don't talk like a newscaster or movie script when you do it. (Unless you want to misrepresent reality! Big media likes to tell everyone we are monsters.)
Let your condition be known—then be your awesome self. I mean it. Most people have few to no realistic experiences to go by. They're often receptive to a realistic view.
Be patient because some people are going to take longer to shed their bigotry. Some folks may change, but not while they're in your life. You still played a part.
Talk about your feelings. I find that I can "get" a lot of people despite my mind and my life being so different from theirs. A lot of our feelings and experiences overlap. Most people will try to understand. You'll see those "A ha!" moments in some eyes.
Be the best yee can be!!!! Everyone has such great potential. That doesn't mean we all need to be perfect. Show people your best effort and you won't just make friends. You'll change their minds and feelings!
The Rest in Print!
Full-size print scan here. The image below is too small
Related Newsletter Post
The Fun We Had
I was nervous about the interview but had lots of fun with Peter and John.
We roamed around Carter Park placing artwork. That's always fun. But they are good people. I felt very comfortable and it was nice to be around creative people.
I hadn't left the house in some time too. It was a warm day with good company.
Kudos to the Sentinel & Enterprise for hiring such awesome humans! Thanks guys.